A second monitor display helps you expand the desktop canvas, enabling you to work with multiple apps. It offers the opportunity to multitask while you enjoy a broad view. For gamers and programmers, it’s a great option as it enhances visibility and allows them to see even the tiniest bit of screen.
However, when your laptop can’t detect an external HDMI monitor, it deprives you of all these features and can be frustrating.
Is your Dell laptop not detecting External Monitor HDMI?
Don’t fret. In this article, we’ll establish the common causes of this problem and provide adequate solutions to help you escape this trouble.
Let’s get started.
Dell Laptop Not Detecting External Monitor HDMI: Likely Causes
Your Dell laptop is not detecting an external monitor HDMI? The problem could happen because of hardware or software issues. Below are some likely causes of this problem:
- Malfunction or glitch
- Outdated or corrupted driver and graphics card.
- Incorrect refresh rate settings
- Hardware issue
- wrong settings of Project Mode
- Other software problems
Dell Laptop Not Detecting External Monitor HDMI: How To Fix
Since we’ve established the likely causes of this problem, you can see that it’s mainly caused by hardware or software errors. You can fix this problem with the correct troubleshooting methods, and you’ll rarely need to buy a new device.
If you’re sure you’ve connected the cables properly and the monitor is turned on, follow the methods below to solve this problem on your laptop:
1. Restart Your Laptop
Before you start ripping off all the cables and cords, spare some time to restart your laptop. Sometimes, installing a new monitor with its drivers and software can disrupt your laptop’s settings, making it difficult to connect to an external monitor.
Sometimes, if you don’t restart your laptop after installing new software, it might fail to detect the external monitor you want to connect. With a fresh restart, any problem with the drivers or software will be resolved.
2. Check Hardware Components
You should inspect all the hardware components to be sure the problem is not coming from any. Inspect all cords, cables, and ports for any visible damage. If there’s a fault, you’ll need to replace the parts accordingly. If your laptop has many HDMI ports, switch between all the ports to check if one will work efficiently. You can also follow the tips below for more hardware diagnoses:
- Remove any other accessories such as dongles, docks, or adapters. These devices could cause hardware conflicts between your laptop and the second monitor.
- Connect your second monitor to a different laptop to check whether the problem is from the computer.
- Ensure you select the appropriate input(DVI, HDMI, etc.)
- Connect your laptop to a new monitor to determine if the problem arises from the second monitor
3. Check Video Driver
If your laptop has an outdated, corrupt or faulty video driver, your laptop windows might not detect the second monitor, making it difficult to mirror or extend your laptop screen to a second display. It would help if you were diligent with the video driver update to know what steps to take.
If you’ve connected your Dell laptop to a second monitor before without problem, then maybe you update a new driver or software that’s disrupting the process. Sometimes newer driver versions don’t work efficiently on operating systems, especially Windows 10. You’ll need to roll back the driver to the previous version or perform a system restore to fix this problem. Follow the steps below to roll back the drivers:
- Press Windows key + R on the keyboard to start the Run dialog
- Input devmgmt.msc and click on the Enter key.
- The Display adapters menu will be prompted. Select Display Device Software and click on Properties.
- Choose the Driver option and select Roll Back Driver.
- You can now follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process
- Restart your laptop and try the connection process again to see if your computer can detect the second monitor.
If otherwise, perhaps the video driver or graphics card on your computer is outdated. You must update the latest version so your laptop can detect the second monitor. You can update the graphics card through the Dell website or follow the steps below:
- Select Start Menu and open Settings
- Click on the Update & Security option
- Select Windows Update
- Select the View Optional Updates option and select Driver updates setting
- Select the Graphics Driver to update
- Select the Download and Install button
Your laptop will install the latest version of the graphics card. This should find the problem, and you should be able to connect with a second monitor.
4. Adjust Monitor Refresh Rates
Check the monitor refresh rate of both devices to see if they are not different. The monitor refresh rate is the rate per second that the computer screen refreshes images.
When you connect two computers, primarily through Windows 10, the refresh rate is essential. If the refresh rates of the computers are different, some graphics cards might not support it, thus preventing them from refreshing.
You can adjust your laptop refresh rates as follows:
- Press Windows+I key
- Select System from the settings window that pop-up
- Select Advanced Display Settings from the Display Menu.
- Select Display Adapter properties for both Displays
- Inspect the refresh rates of both computers
- If they are not the same, then change either one to the other
- Click save the change and press Ok
The refresh rates are now set to the same. Check to determine if your Dell laptop can now detect the second monitor. If the problem persists, read along as we provide other fixes.
5. Adjust Project Mode
The wrong settings of Project Mode can also prevent your Dell laptop from detecting the second monitor. You can change your laptop project mode with the steps below
- Press Windows + P key
- Click on the Duplicate option to mirror the screen on both monitors
- Click on Extend option to get a larger workplace
You can now successfully adjust your project mode, and hopefully, this should solve the detection problem on your Dell laptop. If the problem persists, move to the next and last fix.
6. Uninstall Your Windows
At this stage, if your Dell laptop still can’t detect a second monitor, you should consider uninstalling the operating system. This will delete all the data and information on your computer, so ensure you save your data first before proceeding with this option. This process will clear all bugs, errors, and miscommunication problems so your laptop can detect a second monitor.
7. Contact Manufacturers Support
Does the error remain? If yes, don’t hesitate to contact Dell customer support for further diagnosis. They are in the best position to offer more fixes or advice.